18 October 2013

Review: The Bone Season

The Bone Season
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The last 20% of this was actually OK, but there were so many things about this book that I couldn't stand it was too little too late. It was a pity, I'#d heard such great things and thought I was going to love this.

Take an alternate universe and barely describe it. Then add about a gazillion different types of clairvoyant (voyant) and don't actually explain what the majority of them actually do. Then, jumble up time so that the reader realises that what she's actually read as about two weeks has in fact been several months... And yeah... I wasn't a fan.

Not a lot of things in this book make sense and I think the biggest thing was the hundreds of different types of unnaturals. They were never properly explained. You were just thrust into the world with the barest of descriptions and made-up-words. No thank you. I like to read descriptions, to know what places and people look like.

Then there's the whole Reph thing. These creatures NEED the voyants to survive. They need them to feed off and to kill the Buzzers. So every "bone season", which is every ten years, they take delivery of some voyants who have been kidnapped and tortured for sometimes almost 10 years. Then, they beat them and starve them. Seriously, they NEED these voyants to survive so they torture them almost to death and then they starve them to death. Despite the fact that they don't even get 50 every ten years. Makes no sense at all and it seriously bugged me for the majority of the book. NO SENSE HURTS MY HEAD.

There's a relationship in this book that from the word "go" reminded me far far too much of Sonea and Akkarin in [a:Trudi Canavan|15890|Trudi Canavan|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1194378660p2/15890.jpg]'s Black Magician's Trilogy. It was predictable to the point of being roll-your-eyes-boring.

But the non-stop action in the last 20% of this book redeemed it a little. I kept turning the pages to read more. The ending was pretty abrupt though, but a nice way to leave it. It ends in such a way that you won't need to read the next one. Which is good, as I hate not continuing in a series even if it sucks, as the reader's usually left with enough bait to grab the next one.

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04 October 2013

Review: The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I mostly requested this because I'd heard good things about it, and boy am I glad I did. This book is awesome!

I think that this is a children's book (middle grade maybe?) but don't let that put you off. This book is ridiculously well written, reading with the flair and complexity of only the best books (ever) and I freaking loved it.

This book is creepy and a little bit scary, set in a terrifying alternate world where ghosts have taken over the night and have the power to kill. When only the young can help to fight this threat, you can kiss goodbye to being a child. Children grow up too fast, too young, and risk their lives to protect everyone else.

The characters are marvellous. Each of them is individually strong, but as a team they are totally kick-ass.

Lucy is a refreshingly strong female lead who can stand on her own two feet. Despite her flaws she's no damsel in distress. And she's not a Mary Sue. She even saves the boys!

Both of the boys are complex too, with flaws of their own. Lockwood is infuriatingly mysterious and secretive - no one knows his background. But saying that, we don't know much about George either.

There is so much to learn, so much that I want to know, that I can't wait to read the next one.

This book is wonderfully written, set in a spine-tinglingly chilling world with a cast of crazy-marvellous, strong characters. It made me want to curl up in a nest of pillows and cushions and blankets and drink hot tea and eat jam sandwiches.

Simply? This book is marvellous.

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Review: A Study in Darkness

A Study in Darkness
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I freaking love this series. I only wish there was longer between the books to give a sense of... I dunno, tension, suspense, anticipation? It doesn't seem right publishing them one after another over just a few months.

But on to the book itself.

The start of this book is so incredibly different from the start of the first one. And the ending? GIVE ME THE NEXT ONE NOW! You're dragged in by Steampunk pirates and a story that flows different from the first in the series - the writer has matured. The pace is different too. Where A Study In Silks was a little slow to start, this one is all action.

This series is really into the whole building of the world thing that can make or break a book. And it does it extraordinarily well. You learn more and more with each page but there are never any info-dumps or boring bits. This Steampunk world is so complex and so real.

The ending was just... Wow. It was so shocking and totally unexpected. I actually gasped out loud.

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